Speech delivered by His Excellency, Alhaji (Dr) Mukhtar Ramalan Yero (Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria) at FCT 2013 Kaduna Conference
Remarks by Professor Padraig O’Malley (Director, Forum for Cities in Transition) at FCT 2013 Kaduna Conference
The 4th annual conference of the Forum for Cities in Transition took place in Kaduna, Nigeria on the 4th-8th of November 2013, hosted by the Kaduna State Government under the stewardship of H.E. Governor, Mallam Mukhtar Yero who welcomed delegates in the opening ceremony November 4th in Murtala Muhammed Square and attended several conference sessions. Thirteen non-African cities: Baghdad, Belfast, Derry~Londonderry, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kirkuk, Mitrovica, Mitte, Mostar, Ramallah, Sarajevo, Srebrenica, and Tripoli particpated; Seven Nigerian cities which experience the highest level of Muslim-Christian violence attended: Maiduguri, Borno State - Jos, Plateau State- Bauchi, Bauchi State - Kano, Kano State - Ibadan, Oyo State - Warri, Delta State - representatives from Four African countries: Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana also attended as observers.
Participants spent twelve hour days in plenaries and workshops covering topics ranging from the control of light arms and weapons in divided societies, Youth-Social Media and Peacemaking, Reviving the Economy and attracting tourism, reducing religious radicalism, the role of women, and reconciliation across religious and socio-political divide among others. On Friday the 8th November FCT participant cities announced their collective and individual projects that will serve to reduce violence, promote peace and reconciliation, encourage civic participation of all sectors of society and promote economic development and regeneration.
OUTCOMES BASED PROCESS
The process is reciprocal because in serving their sister cities, those further along in transition are sharply reminded of where they once were, where they are now, and where they hope to go in continuing their own processes of transition and reconciliation.
In accordance with the mission statement of the FCT, the emphasis is the realisation the of practical outcomes that would assist participating cities improve the daily lives of their citizens, and enhance engagement between officials, NGOs, and residents.
As a result of the extensive one to one networking, bilateral and multilateral deliberations that took place among city delegations in Kaduna, both in formal and informal sessions, the following projects were pledged as the outcomes of the 2013 Forum for Cities in Transition gathering:
- Bauchi (Bauchi State)
- Ibadan (Oyo State)
- Jos (Planteau State)
- Kano (Kano State)
- Maiduguri (Borno State)
- Warri (Delta State)
**BELFAST PLEDGES TO HOST FCT 2014
- Investors in agriculture to visit Nigeria and share best practice
- Delegates from other cities and governor of Kaduna invited to visit Baghdad
- Develop a twinning with Kirkuk and Tripoli focusing on women and youth
- Develop a peace and reconciliation conference with Queens University in 2015
- TEDx in Stormont video link to enable cities to participate and share ideas (16 April 2014)
- Host 2014 FCT – aiming for a dynamic, interactive conference focusing on sharing successes, challenges and ideas which can be shared and implemented in each of the cities
- Invitation to Mitrovica youth to join the youth football tournament (Foyle Cup)
- Mediation, Peace and Reconciliation Group to share mediation training programmes with Tripoli
- Governor accepted invitation to visit Derry Londonderry
- Youth bank connection to Kaduna via St Columbs Park (Brian Dougherty)
- Invitation to a group of women from Kaduna to Haifa to have a seminar in Haifa to build understanding and enable empowerment – 2 week knowledge exchange proposed
- Exchange project with Israeli experts (Kaduna to Haifa / Haifa to Kaduna) to share agricultural best practice
- Work across Muslim and Christian divides
- Pledged commitment to values, principles and values of FCT
- Begin work on establishing a regional forum for FCT in Nigeria and Africa
- General pledge to work together to promote values of co-operation
- Continue to support the ongoing construction of the hospital
- Support children, women and people in need
- Support education
- Support next youth conference, providing advice, support and guidance based on their experiences this year
- Also support the youth delegates to implement and fulfil their commitments
- Send youth football team to youth football tournament (Foyle Cup) in Derry Londonderry
- Mitrovica Rock School plan to visit Tripoli as part of the outcomes from FCT Youth Conference
- Proposed Jerusalem / Haifa / Palestine / Mitrovica youth exchange
- School to bring pupils from Derry-Londonderry and Cyprus to Mitte to begin to understand the different cultures, a 1 week radio workshop (“crossing barriers and understanding each other”) is suggested as part of this exchange
- Support a training workshop on Procurement – this would be open to delegates from any cities who wish to participate, develop skills to counteract corruption
- Exchange with Mitte on women’s projects
- Develop a forum on women in the post conflict environment with Srebrenica and Sarajevo
- Microfinance knowledge exchange to share experiences about soft loans, share with Baghdad
- Summer camp – targeted youth programme
- Support peace and reconciliation work, support youth work in Balkans
- Aim to host youth forum in Balkans region in the next few years
- Support ideas and initiatives and collaborate with Sarajevo and Mostar
- Continuation of ongoing activities relating to non-violence campaign
- Mediation commitment, “Mercy Corps,” support for developing advocacy skills
- Continuation of Hip-Hop revolution through Coalition against violence “Cross Arts project”
- Kaduna twinning to work together on women’s projects
- Provide youth group attendees to future youth conferences
- Ramallah / Mitrovica / Tripoli youth exchange
- 1000 students to participate in remedial learning projects
- Offer a continuation of working with host city organiser of annual gathering — ACAI Events — for mutual learning and development of local partnerships
- Work with Tripoli to provide a rich information source for global peacemakers, via FCT website and social media channels
- Identify and share appropriate contacts for the purpose of economic development in all FCT cities
- Provide printed and other material to members for fundraising on behalf of the Forum for Cities in Transition
- Improve the governance of the FCT Secretariat, to facilitate greater operational management by FCT members
RECENT NEWS COVERAGE:
Kaduna to host Cities in Transition conference
by Innocent Senyo
23 September 2013
WorldStage News: Kaduna State (Nigeria) is to host the fifth edition of the global conference of the Cities in Transition scheduled for between November 4 to 8, the Chief of Staff to the Governor and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Yahaya Aminu has said.
Aminu, while addressing a news conference along with the Director of the Forum of Cities in Transition, Prof. Padraig O’Malley, said that about 92 international delegates and 12 African countries that has passed through one crisis or the other are expected to attend and share experiences at the conference.
According to him, delegates are expected to attend the conference from Iraq, Isreal, Palestine, Albania, Bosnia and Harzegovina, Cyprus, Ireland, South Africa, Liberia, South Sudan, Ethipia, Rwanda among others.
He said that participants will also be expected from Nigerian cities with history of crisis such as Warri, Ife/Modakeke, Kano, Shagamu, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Plateau etc.
Also speaking, Prof. O’Malley who is the convener of the conference explained that the Forum for Cities in Transition was formed to create a platform for reconciliation between communities that have suffered from conflict and are divided along ethnic and religious lines and create dynamics that serve as catalyst for change.
He said further that the Cities in Transition conferences are held yearly in cities that are divided by conflict, adding that participants who are drawn from conflict stricken areas of the world come together to share experiences and mutual similarities before making commitments and resolutions to resolve the crisis and bridge the divides.
He said “the Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT) is set out to create a platform for reconciliation between existing conflict inflicted societies and communities. This is based on the fact that cities in transitions in countries divided by conflict are in better position tom help other cities in similar situation as each city is at a different stage of transition.
“Apart from Kaduna, we have 12 cities across 12 continents, 14 cities across Africa, six cities in Nigeria and seven African countries involved. They have common problems ranging from policing, garbage collection, housing, road construction, the provision of health and welfare services to identifying flash points and interfaces that trigger violence”.
“Forum for Cities in Transition: The Power of Place”
by Ban Al-Mahfodh (UMass Boston William Joiner Center) and Ryan Bruen (Northeastern University)
The Forum for Cities in Transition
The Forum for Cities in Transition is an international network of mayors, councillors, municipal officials, business people, and representatives of the voluntary and community sector.
The Forum works on the principle that cities that are in conflict or have emerged from conflict are in the best position to help other cities in the same situation.
The Forum for Cities in Transition is an initiative of the John Joseph Moakley Chair at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The Secretariat is shared by the Northern Ireland Foundation and the Moakley Chair.
The logo for the Forum for Cities in Transition was based on the semi-circular arrangement of tables for the plenary sessions at the initial conference that took place April 14-16, 2008, at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. There is further inspiration from King Arthur’s famed Round Table, with no head and everyone who sits there having equal status. In this design, the circle is presently half-complete, but with leaders of each city at their place, there will be collaborative work among Forum participants to realise a full circle.